Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.